USFHP Summer 2020 US Family Newsletter

In this Issue

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June is Men's Health Month

Adult Vaccines

Social Distancing Tips

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the newest issue of Be Well Informed. All of us here at CHRISTUS US Family Health Plan hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well as we navigate to find our new normal.

In this issue, we discuss Men’s Health Month, offer social distancing tips, and how vaccines work in honor of Immunization awareness Month in August.

Be sure to check out all of the Awareness Months and Dates on the opposite page.

As always, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact Member Services at 800.67.USFHP.

In good health,

Nancy Horstmann
Chief Executive Officer
US Family Health Plan

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June is Men's Health Month

The goal of Men’s Health Month, celebrated every June, is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

According to the CDC, the top 5 causes of death for men across all ages and races include: Heart disease (24%), Cancer (21%), Unintentional injuries (7%), Chronic lower respiratory diseases (5%), and stroke (4%). The causes and percentages vary by age and race.

On average, men die five years younger than women, and die at higher rates from nine of the top 10 causes of death. Men are also less likely than women to be insured. All of this impacts their ability to be involved fathers, supportive partners, and engaged community members.

  • Get a physical. Most of the factors that contribute to men’s shorter, less healthy lives are preventable. And that prevention starts with seeing a health care provider on a regular basis. Establishing baselines for factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and PSA (a screening test for prostate cancer risk)—and monitoring how they change over time—will enable the provider to catch potentially dangerous conditions early.
  • Get physical. The benefits of physical activity are extensive, but many people find it difficult to get motivated for physical activity on their own. Join a recreation league at your local community center, sign up for group personal training sessions, or simply make a routine out of regular walks. Simple, yes, but not always easy.
  • Wear blue. In 1994, Congress passed a bill declaring the week before Father’s Day as Men’s Health Week. Encourage everyone you know to wear something blue that week. Wear BLUE Day is celebrated every year on the Friday of Men’s Health Week! This year’s Wear BLUE Day is Friday, June 19.
  • Learn more. Men’s Health Network (the DC-based nonprofit that helped pass Men’s Health Week) has collected more than 300 proclamations from governors, mayors, and Native American communities recognizing Men’s Health Month (and Week), the important part that men play as role models for their communities.

sources: health-month/index.html

Adult Vaccines

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adults need immunizations to help prevent them from getting sick or spreading diseases that could impact family and friends. The following will list the vaccines available and the timing of when a patient should receive the vaccine.

  • Seasonal flu (influenza) – all adults need this vaccine every year. This is especially important for patients with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and older adults
  • Tdap/Td – The Tdap should be given once if the patient did not receive it as an adolescent and for pregnant women (27-36 weeks) to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.
  • Shingles vaccine – Given to all adults 50 years and older (unless contraindicated by your physician) and protects against shingles and the complications of this disease. This is given in a 2 dose series with the second injection occurring 2-6 months after the original injection.
  • Pneumonia – there are two pneumonia vaccines available to adults, PPSV23 and PCV13 which protect against serious pneumococcal disease. Patients who are over 65 may want to receive a dose of PCV13. All patients 65 years and older and those younger 65 years with certain health conditions will need to receive a dose of the PPSV23.
  • There is currently no vaccine available for Covid-19 Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see which vaccines are recommended for you. USFHP pays for these vaccines at 100% with no out of pocket cost to the patient.

source: Maxor Pharmacy

Social Distancing Tips

Limiting face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What is social distancing?
Social distancing means keeping space between yourself and other people. To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
  • Avoid large groups of people
  • Stay out of crowded places

In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Why practice social distancing?
COVID-19 spreads among people who are in close contact. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air. Studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also spread COVID-19.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.

Stay connected
It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult.


Our Outreach Coordinator is sending out health reminder letters and doing outreach calls, to help you complete important wellness visits, blood sugar tests, and breast imaging exams. These medical tests and exams are valuable in preventing harm through early detection. We look forward to teaming up with you in reaching a better level of health. For more information about our Outreach Coordinator, call Member Services at 800.678.7347.

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Last Updated: 12/14/2020